Fiberglass pool crack--could it be leaking?

love2weedMarch 22, 2012

We have a Viking fiberglass pool--when we went to check on the water level under the winter cover we discovered it was really low. I knew something was up, because we usually have to pump several times during the winter with the rain and snow. We added water and we figure it's losing about 3-4 inches a day. We called the pool company and it will be covered if it is a crack in the shell and will not be covered if it is plumbing. We opened it and it's almost clear. We did have a hairline crack last year that looks like it is wider than last year. My DH says it's between 1/16 to maybe 1/8 wide. Could a crack like this be leaking? Also, the pool company says we need to find the leak ourself or pay them to have a company come out. We are at a loss on how to begin to find a pool leak. Different websites talk about a dye test. We also have an area that bulged and it had some hairline cracks last year too. How thick is a fiberglass pool? I just assumed you would have to see a large gap for the pool to be leaking? I am so hoping it's the shell--I cannot imagine what the plumbing cost will? Can someone tell us where to start?

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muddy_water

Just go get some red food coloring and beneath the water where the crack is squirt some and if it draws the coloring toward it if is leaking.... a good company to call for leak detection is American Leak Detectors if you cannot find it yourself.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 6:19AM
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poolguynj

A crack like that in the shell will lose water. What you describe doesn't sound like a Viking issue, it sounds like a major installation issue. As for the plumbing, that is often up to the installer at contract time and will vary.

While Viking was somewhat panned before I joined the forum years ago for spamming, the people in place there now are not who was in place then. Not having seen a repeat performance suggests to me that they have taken care of the issue.

MrHulot, Timely? Yes. Contains links elsewhere, yes but they didn't catch it. Spam? yeah but its not like you do this regularly and you offered to show others how to (and I did some time ago, btw so thank you) but I also don't think that your tool is intended for this particular application.

I like muddy_water's idea too but Anderson dye pens are my personal favorite though as they have the long extension on the end that keeps one's hand generated currents from effecting the area.

Scott

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 10:06AM
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love2weed

Both of the cracks are by steps/chair. I believe they sagged. The steps going into the pool now sound hollow underneath--they did not sound like the first few years. Our pool model is the Baja--it has a chair/ledge on the deep end--it has sagged and that is where the bulge is. I am on pins and needles about this. Yesterday I noticed a hairline crack that is running along the floor to the main drain on one of the side walls. We have underground water--but we have a sump pump installed and keep it pumped out. Funny thing though--when we run the pump--the pool loses water at a much faster rate. I figure it's working like a straw.
I am hoping for the best--but I feel like we are in for a battle with the pool company.

They told us over the phone, if it was a crack in the shell it would be covered, but I'm expecting them to change their tune when they actually come out and look at the pool.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 5:57PM
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poolguynj

Underground water may present some issues as the water is capable of moving the base material used, be it sand or small gravel though gravel would be somewhat surprising due to it's weight.

The real questions that beg to be answered from what I am hearing are:

What was the base material?

Where did the base material go that was there?

When was the high water table realized?

Was anything done to redirect the water away?

Was the material under the added sand or gravel a suitable base material? Clays should not have been left. They swell and shrink, creating voids.

How did the pool level drop? Turning on the sump should only be done after the other sources are shut and the discharge sent to waste and at least 75 feet or more away and down hill or to a storm sewer that carries it away. If the water under wasn't removed but the water in the pool was, it could be partially your fault.

I hate to say this but you might let a lawyer not affiliated with the installer know what is going on an initial consultation basis and if the installer doesn't bring proper satisfaction... God, I hate saying that.

Scott

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 9:58PM
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muddy_water

I hate it when installers use mechanical pumps too remove water to stop erosion. It should only be a secondary means of removing water proper drainage should be done using french drains or other means of diverting water. Pumps fail and and some builders do not install alarms. The result is the homeowners have no idea until they have problems with there pool. I agree with Scott with the information we have it looks like a Installaion issue not a shell issue...

Rusty

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 11:28AM
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love2weed

In all actuality, we probably should not have put a pool in our yard--there are underground springs and in the winter/spring we always have underground water. We told this to the pool contractor, but he assured us--they could put a pool in anywhere as long as there was drainage. There is a drain that run the perimeter of the pool that has a hold area--that is where the sump pump is--we pump the water out to a drain that runs to the storm drain.

My question--can our pool be repaired? Can they brace the steps/seat so they will not sag any further? I love my pool, but it sure has been a headache.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 6:39PM
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muddy_water

The first step is to fix the water or drainage problem.Then they will have to try and get some backfill under the steps again. the link below may help you to understand the problems with the installaion...and repairing of fiberglass pools.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fiberglass pools

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 10:38PM
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poolguynj

From your description, I am not certain that it won't need resetting, remediation of the water condition, and then crack repair. Bear in mind, this does not constitute a final diagnosis as I haven't even seen this and have only your description.

Scott

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 3:42AM
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love2weed

Okay--Now I'm really getting sick about this. How can they backfill without busting up my concrete deck? Resetting--what a nightmare this has turned into. I'm sure that pool company will not do this--So what can I expect it they just do a repair job? I'm not having a positive attitude about this situation.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 9:02AM
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